After Houston defaulted a match in both the doubles and singles categories, the Oregon women’s tennis team sailed to its second win of the weekend at the UO Student Tennis Center on Sunday morning with a score of 4-0.
The default meant that Oregon had an advantage of one point before the match even started. The two wins from the pairs of Marlou Kluiving and Julia Eshet, and Alyssa Tobita and Shweta Sangwan in the doubles category brought the Ducks up to an early lead of 2-0.
Kluiving was the first Duck to dole out a singles victory again this past weekend, suppressing her opponent with scores of 6-2, 6-1. Eshet faced a harder challenge in her second set, but ultimately came away with a 6-1, 7-5 win. Her victory was the second and final one needed to end the match, bringing the Ducks record to 5-4 this season.
“Always a confidence boost to get two wins against two really great teams,” head coach Alison Silverio said.
“Yesterday we came out and had a pretty disciplined practice. It was a little bit shorter just because we were in between matches. We focused a lot on serve and return because that’s how you start the point.”
Consistency has been the key for Kluiving as she continues to assert her dominance on the court.
“We had a goal to have energy throughout the weeks that we were in practice and we wanna continue to do that in our matches,” she said. “I think we did a really good job. We were able to finish off strong.”
Kluiving had to pause for a while as she pondered over what she wanted to improve on.
“You’re perfect, Marlou,” a man wearing a collared Oregon shirt commented as he observed her contemplative expression.
“I’m definitely not,” she replied in a matter-of-fact tone as others laughed.
“I wanna work on keep moving forward to the net and being more aggressive in transition during long points. I want to make it tough on the opponent, make them work hard for the point.”
According to Silverio, Kluiving’s strongest weapon is her backhand, which enables her to hit a shot from just about anywhere on the court.
“She’s someone that the girls like to emulate on that backhand side because, technique-wise, she’s very fundamentally sound,” Silverio said. “It’s always a fun shot for her to hit.”
The biggest takeaways from this past weekend, according to Silverio, include Oregon’s consistency in following the game plan and honing their aggressive mindset, particularly in the adverse moments where both teams are tied and are going for the match point.
“It’s really exciting how well we did this weekend, with the energy and everything we did on the court,” Kluiving said. “I hope to keep this momentum going into next weekend.”
The team will face Denver and Boise State in Boise, Idaho next weekend.
Follow Romaine Soh on Twitter @mainetainpls